Just a few quick thoughts on the series as a whole…
I haven’t read a hell of a lot of books with Native American characters, because of some bad teenage experiences where the hero of the book ended up looking like a cartoon version. A big thing for me when reading books is that the ethnicity of the characters has to be believable and realistic. Being Australian, I’ve read one too many books where they’ve lifted the characters straight out of a 1970s tourism ad.
Sarah M. Anderson has managed to create characters who walk the line between the Anglo and Native American worlds really well, and who breathe an air of believability. The dialogue between characters is real and any dialect or inflections are left to the imagination of the reader.
Kudos to you, Ms Anderson, for navigating the path between the two cultures and not painting either as the bad guy.
♥♥♥ And now for the reviews ♥♥♥
Straddling the Line
CFO Ben Bolton has enough on his plate running his family business. But when lovely Josey White Plume enters his office, his priorities shift. He refuses to let such a compelling woman walk away. The chase is on.
All her life, Josey has sought one thing: to fit in with her Lakota family. She has no time for some sexy rich guy’s pursuit. But she can’t stop thinking about Ben-wanting him…kissing him. Yet falling for a wealthy outsider will destroy everything she’s worked for-unless she can find a way to straddle the line between his world and hers.
Josey has a foot in both worlds, and has found it difficult to find her way in either. Her new role in getting the reservation school up and running is what she sees as her chance to be respected and accepted by the others in the Lakota world. It’s difficult for me to personally relate to that as I haven’t had that life experience, but Josey’s desire to connect and maintain her place in both worlds is admirable.
Ben may not be straddling the line between two worlds like Josey, but he too struggles to find his place and purpose within the family. A difficult relationship with his father wars with his promise to his mother to keep the family together. I really loved that Ben was committed to keeping the family connected, despite the oft-difficult and testy environment.
From the moment Josie encounters Ben in the office of the bike shop, you can all but see the connection between them. The attraction is intense and so are the sexy times. Motorbikes and elevators, that is all. Ben’s support and encouragement of Josey in achieving her goals and her place in the Lakota world is pretty freakin’ hot. Not much sexier than that, ladies.
This is a great introduction to the Bolton brothers series, and has all the elements for an excellent sexy read – hot chemistry, bad boy bikers and a healthy dose of angst. It certainly whetted my appetite for the rest of the series.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 1 May 2013
Bringing Home the Bachelor
“Wild” Bill Bolton is a biker. He rides bikes. He builds bikes. He eats, sleeps, and breathes bikes. Then his youngest brother Bobby signs their family business up for a ‘reality’ show and Bill becomes an unwilling reality star. Overnight, business doubles, and then triples. He becomes famous, which is a real pain in the ass. Bikes become less of a refuge and more of an instrument of torture. Then it gets worse.
The producers of the show want to capitalize on the shop’s ‘good will’ and film Bill building a bike out at some school his brother Ben sponsors. At first, Bill can’t imagine how his life could get any worse, but then he meets Jenny Wahwasuck, a young teacher at the school trying to raise a teenage boy all by herself. Can this instant family be the one thing he’s been missing?
Bringing Home the Bachelor is the story of Billy Bolton, the eldest of the Bolton brothers. Once known as “Wild Bill” and with a reputation to match the nickname, Billy just wants to build his bike and stay clear of past mistakes. Now Billy has been corralled by youngest brother Bobby into building a custom bike with the help of the students at Josie’s school, so that they can auction it off to raise money for the school.
Not too many people are that keen to confront the gruff eldest Bolton – except for Jenny Wawaschuk. They have a confrontation in the school carpark that results in Billy physically moving Jenny’s car, and that confrontation leads to more than just dislike and indignation.
Jenny is committed to making sure the other girls on the reservation don’t end up single, pregnant teenagers like she was. A mother at just 15, Jenny has tried to make a good life for her and son Seth, now a teenager himself. The last thing she needs (or wants) is to be attracted to a man like Billy. But fate has other plans.
The chemistry between Billy and Jenny is electric. They are people that on the surface of things would never end up together – the former teen mom from the reservation and the wealthy bike builder, but they find in each other something they were never expecting. I love Jenny – her passion for her community and taking care of the girls like her is incredible. She is giving and kind without being a pushover. Billy may appear to be this gruff, grumpy character that strikes a little fear into some, but underneath that, he is a generous and thoughtful man. The way he approaches Jenny’s son and gives him a goal and a purpose is beautiful, and he sounds pretty damn hot too.
I loved getting to see more of the characters we first met in Straddling the Line – Ben and Josey play an important part in the story, as well as Don, the school head and Jenny’s boss. Bobby is as ever a charmer as he was, and I loved that Seth (Jenny’s son) was written as a regular, normal teenage boy and he didn’t veer into Children-of-the-Corn territory.
Of the three, I’d say this was my favourite.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 1 September 2013
Expecting a Bolton Baby
Bobby Bolton is sick and tired of everyone thinking he’s the family screw-up. No one takes him seriously, even though his deals have made the family business millions. He’s got a plan, to prove his bona fides—he’s building a destination resort for their upper-class biker customers outside of Sturgis, South Dakota. His resort won’t be a down-and-dirty bar for the real bad-asses, but a place where all the dentists and lawyers who ride choppers on the weekend can kick back and drop a few thousand on amenities. Thing are going according to plan—until Stella Caine shows up at the construction site.
The daughter of a powerful music mogul, Stella walks a fine line between leading a sheltered life and rebellion. Bobby had made Stella’s acquaintance the last time he was in L.A. And if he recalls correctly, they got buzzed—and then some—in the back of her SUV. When Stella announces that she’s two months pregnant, all of Bobby’s plans change in an instant. Suddenly, things get very serious. Is Bobby father material, or will this screw up all his big plans?
This was the book that I was first approached to review. I am glad I had a chance to review the others first, because I think the character of Bobby makes a bit more sense having done so.
Expecting a Bolton Baby, while not my favourite of the three, is still a really good read.
Bobby has that whole cocky, full-of-confidence persona going on. Not much seems to go wrong for him, until a one-night stand with the daughter of his ultra-conservative TV backer turns out to be more than just that.
Stella might have had a wealthy upbringing, but a distant and controlling father made for a miserable one. Her only real ‘family’ is her bodyguard. Her attempt to break free of the world she lives in, if only for one night, backfires in a way she never expected.
Bobby is a real peach – he may have done some foolish things in the past, but when Stella comes and drops the baby bombshell, I loved that he never once hesitated, he took responsibility and he stated his desire to help Stella straight away. Good on you, Bobby for manning up. Oh yeah, and he does the housework! I have one of those at home – trust me, ladies, this is a brilliant thing!
With Stella, while I liked that she didn’t try to exclude Bobby from the baby business, there were a few aspects that got me a bit about her. Stella’s inability to confront her feelings and the lack of real resolution when it came to her relationship with her father were probably the most frustrating for me.
Despite the misgivings I had with aspects of Stella’s character, I enjoyed Expecting a Bolton Baby. It was a good conclusion to the series and I’m definitely keen to check out more of Sarah M. Anderson’s work as a result.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release Date: 1 November 2013
Note: I was provided with advanced reader copies of all three books by the author, Sarah M. Anderson in return for an honest review.